If you have seen The Grand Budapest Hotel, you might have completely different ideas about Budapest and what it has to offer. While the cinematography captures the beauty of the city, there is a lot more to it.
The Danube River is perhaps the star of the city, along with its beautiful architecture, endless spas, and more.
A great way to learn about the city is to know the different facts about Budapest that will boost your knowledge. So, if you want to learn something new to decide whether this is the travel destination for you, then you are in the right place.
Here are all the Budapest facts that will help you make this decision.
Historical Facts About Budapest
Budapest’s history is a fantastic way to understand the present state of the city and its people. Here is some historical information on Budapest that explains its evolution to today.
Budapest Is A Combination Of The Name Of The Cities That Joined In 1873
Many people don’t know this, but in 1873 Buda, Pest, and Obuda came together to create what we now know as Budapest. After this merge, the metropolis you see now came into existence. During that time, Budapest was the co-capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire along with Vienna.
The First Bridge Was Created In 1849 Across The Danube River
As you enter the beautiful city, you will notice that eight bridges connect the entire city. The first bridge was created in 1849, which was the Chain Bridge. Even now, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions you will find in the city.
Going from one side of the river to the other will take you around 10 minutes through this bridge. However, this is without factoring in the significant time you will spend taking photos and soaking in the views.
It Was Not Always The Capital of Hungary
Esztergom was the capital of Hungary before Budapest ever came into the picture. It was only during the 13th century when Buda was made the capital. King Bela IV decided to make this happen, and he was the King of Croatia and Hungary at that time.
Gul Baba Came Here During The 16th Century
Gul Baba was a Turkish dervish that came to Hungary and was deemed to be a holy man. He passed away in 1541, and there was a tomb dedicated to him that became a sacred place for Muslims for pilgrimage.
You will find that it is one of the few Turkish buildings that remain in the city.
Cultural Facts About Budapest
Budapest’s culture is steeped in religion, legends, its past, and much more. Being more cognizant of the customs and traditions will help to appreciate the city better.
Here are some of the important cultural facts about Budapest.
The Second Largest Synagogue Is Here
Budapest has many Jewish institutions that include religious and cultural ones, as the Jewish population has been living here since the 13th century.
The Great Synagogue in Budapest is located on Dohany Street, and it is one of the most majestic places of worship you will find. Make sure you visit this important Hungarian landmark to see what it is all about.
According To A Legend, One Statue In The City Will Turn You To A Writer
Locals of the city have many superstitions, and one of them is that touching pen of the Anonymous statue will turn you into an exceptional writer. If you have always wanted to be a writer, then you can try your luck by touching this statue. Hopefully, it will bring you the writing skills you are looking for.
Don’t Leave The City Without Trying Gulyas
Gulyas means herdsman in English, and the origin of this dish goes back to the 9th century. During this time, shepherds used to create an onion and meat stew that you can find all over Budapest. There are also many variations of this traditional Hungarian food, which is why you can hop around and try different ones throughout the trip.
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All EU Senior Citizens Get Free Public Transportation Here
Anyone traveling with senior citizens from the EU will find the transportation system affordable because it is free for senior citizens. This includes everything from buses to chair lifts, above-ground trains, trams, and much more. The system also operates relatively smoothly for a flawless experience.
People Don’t Clink Glasses When Drinking Beer
Whenever you visit a pub or public space, make sure you don’t clink glasses when drinking beer. This is one of the interesting facts about Hungary.
During the late 19th century, Habsburgs overthrew the Hungarian Revolution, and they celebrated this victory by cheering with beer. Even now, Hungarians remember this and don’t clink glasses while drinking.
Fun Facts About Budapest For Kids
Here are some fascinating facts about Budapest to kids to boost their interest and knowledge about the Hungarian capital.
It Is Known As The City Of Spas
Budapest is famous for its thermal springs. These incredible natural features have existed for over 2,000 years now, and they are known to have healing properties. You can select some of these natural spas to take a dip and relax. One of the most popular spa place in the Hungarian capital is the Szechenyi Bathhouse. Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit to enjoy a relaxing experience.
Hippos Love To Swim At The Budapest Zoo
Take your kids to the Budapest Zoo and watch the hippos swimming and splashing one another with water. The water comes from a medicinal bath that also helps with the animal’s fertility. You will never see hippos happier than when they are bathing in this water.
Danube River Is Important To The City
Danube River is important not only to Budapest but also Europe, and it is harnessed to create hydroelectric power. It flows through the banks of Serbia, Vienna, and Budapest. Each city it passes through has recognized the importance of this river in terms of its beauty and power generation capacity.
One of the best ways to enjoy this vast natural wonder is through one of the many sightseeing cruises on offer. It a great way to check out the city and surroundings from the waters.
Useful Budapest Facts For Travelers
There are many incredible things to do in Budapest. Here are some information that can help craft your itinerary.
There Is An Entire City Under Castle Hill
Under the beauty of Budapest lies more than two hundred tunnels and caverns that you can explore. One of the most interesting ones is right under Castle Hill, which is a labyrinth that spans six miles long. It served many functions, from prison to cellar, military hospital, bomb shelter, and much more.
The House Of Terror Can Be Horrifying
Fascist and communist regimes are something most Hungarians are familiar with, but you can see its exhibits in the House of Terror. The Hungarian Nazi Party used this building to torture anyone they detained at the time. After that, the secret police of the Communist Party used this building to kill, torture, or detain their enemies, hence the name.
If You Go In Summer, You Might Witness The Sziget Music Festival
Anyone that wants to enjoy the music and culture of Budapest should visit during the time of the Sziget Music Festival. It is filled with art programs, concerts, talks, performances, and other shows that people would enjoy. The festival happens every August, so book your tickets for then.
The Hungarian Parliament Building Is Beautiful
One of the finest examples of Renaissance Revival and Gothic Revival architecture is the Hungarian Parliament building. This is a key landmark in Budapest.
It stands tall and striking on the edge of the Danube River and is a symbol for many postcards and souvenirs. Since 1987, it has been a UNESCO site that you can visit to enjoy the architecture and beautiful views.
There Are Many Ruins Bars Throughout The City
Cheap yet delicious food, along with affordable drinks, are what you will find at these Runs Bars. These started in 2001 when young men used to roam around the city looking for cheap places to drink alcohol. It led to good fortunes for their owners, which is why they are known as Ruins Bars.
Visiting these funky parlors are some of the most interesting things to do in Budapest.
Common Budapest Facts
A lot of people already have some information on Budapest through social media, news, and other such outlets. Here are some general facts about Budapest that are good to know.
Hungarian Is Known For Being Tough To Learn
English speakers will find Hungarian a challenging language because it includes complicated pronunciations and grammar. For example, the language includes around fourteen vowels, with pronunciation differences.
If you want to connect with the locals, you can learn common words or phrases such as thank you. However, you should have no problem getting around with English and general common sense in most places.
Many Movie Scenes Have Been Shot In The Keleti Railway Station
Keleti Railway Station was open to the public in the late 19th century, and many scenes from different famous movies have been shot here. These include Black Widow, Mission Impossible, and many others. You will find this station in the eastern part of the city.
Paprika Is An Essential Spice In The Food
Hungary is known for being one of the biggest producers of Paprika. That is why it is common in the food of Budapest. However, some traditional dishes might not use this spice to maintain their authenticity. If you are shopping around food markets, maybe grab some paprika as souvenirs for your home kitchen.
Many of The Buildings Have Holes
Roaming around the city and its building, you will find random bullet holes in most of these places. In 1956, there were violent attacks taking place, and these holes are a reminder of the dark past. It was a time when there was a national uprising against the communist regime in the city.
Other Interesting Facts About Budapest
Here are some incredible facts about Budapest to help you understand the city better.
Most Buildings In Budapest Are The Same Height
A common observation within the city is that almost all the buildings are the same height. Only the Hungarian Parliament and the Szent Istvan Basilica are of different heights. This allows for an incredible view of the best structures and the entire city.
In addition, it represents the priority in religion and government; and no buildings are allowed to be higher than either building.
The Metro System Is A UNESCO Site
The Budapest Millennium Underground opened for the public in 1896, and it is the only metro system to receive this honor. After the London Underground, this is the second-oldest metro in Europe. You can use it to navigate the different parts of the city and get where you need to be fast.
There Is A Children’s Railway
A unique attraction in Budapest is the Children’s Railway, which is run by children in elementary school. It began after the Second World War for communist kids to train after a model that the Soviet Union introduced during the 1940s. The current route of the railway is more than eleven kilometers, and you will find it to be incredibly beautiful.
Sziklatemplom Is A Rock Church
Many people don’t know about this hidden gem in Budapest, giving you all the more reason to explore it when you go. It is located under Gellert Hill in the Old Town. In 1926, a group of Pauline monks founded this church, and it is still operational.
You can think of this church as a small monastery inside a rock that has been decorated. Anyone visiting Liberty Bridge can make their way here and explore what it has to offer.
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Discovering More Fun Facts About Budapest
These were some of the interesting facts about Budapest that reflect the fascinating city. You can travel solo or with your friends and family to enjoy the best of what the Hungarian capital has to offer. There is quite nothing like being wowed by the incredible architecture and history.
It is a popular destination that even draws repeat visitors. There is beautiful architecture, exciting stories, and yummy Hungarian desserts to discover at every corner. So if you get the chance, embark on your own journey to uncover more amazing Budapest facts.